Marriage Myths – Part 4

May 30th, 2012

Click image for source.

Welcome to Marriage Myth #4!  As you read the article (link to full article below) and read on here, I encourage you to search the corners of your own mind, invite your spouse to do the same and discuss together your beliefs about what marriage means.  When you both honestly make the effort to do so, I anticipate that your connection will blossom, your patience for one another will increase, and your love will deepen.  Give it a shot and please let me know how it goes! (PS – What did you and your spouse discover about your endorsement or rejection of Myth #3?)

Myth #4: Either my spouse loves me or doesn’t love me; nothing I do will affect the way he or she feels about me.

As a budding Marriage and Family Therapist, I cannot help but disparage this myth.  Simply said, I believe that everything influences everything else.  Consider the well-known “domino effect”.  One toppled domino forcefully impacts the next and the next and the next – all the while picking up speed and destructiveness down the line.  Similar principles apply to marital relationships.  If I come home as a full-fledged grouch and I make no effort to rise above my misery, my sour face and negative commentary could easily deflate my husband’s otherwise light-hearted mood.  He’d probably still love me through all that complaining, but the potential playfulness of our evening is sure to suffer.  More to the point, if my complaints center on my husband specifically, I can reasonably expect the tenderness in our interactions to take a speedy decline.  It’s not that he’d like it to turn out that way.  It’s just that he’s a human being and humans instinctively protect themselves against potentially hazardous situations.  If he perceives me to be seconds from blowing my top, it makes sense that he’d pull out some safety goggles and possibly a plexi-glass shield.

As has been mentioned before, we all have bad days.  It’s natural to slip into grouchy mode from time to time.  However, if my grouchiness persists and my spouse ends up spending more and more time covered up in protective gear… the strength of our love may dwindle and could even disappear.  Without the nourishment of laughter, kindness and shared positive experiences, love will struggle to survive the long haul of life.  We’ve all experienced that it’s hard work being kind to someone who is not being kind to you.  Many people can do so for a little while.  Most of us strive to do so indefinitely.  However, the reality is that we all have limits.   In a successful partnership, each spouse must acknowledge the other’s limits AND do his or her best not to push the boundary.

~Candice

Full article here: Relationship_Stages_Myths